How to Become an Immunization Pharmacist
- Jonathan Jacobs
Here in New York, Independent Pharmacy has just been given the go-ahead by Governor Cuomo to begin testing for COVID19 and the Coronavirus. In the future, vaccinations for this will hopefully be available. How to become an immunization pharmacist is certainly going to be on many RPh and store owners’ minds. The good news is that every state in the country allows for a pharmacist to become a licensed and certified Immunizer. However, vaccination requirements for doing so vary in each state.
Becoming a Pharmacist Immunizer begins with checking in with your state’s pharmacy association (such as PSSNY here in NY) and medical board to get the qualification criteria. Additionally, The American Pharmacist Association has a pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery Certification course available. The APHA’s Immunization Delivery Certification training program is approved for a total of 20.0 content hours of CE. You can get all of the additional requirements here. In addition, you can learn more at the Immunization Center on the APHA website here.
The CDC released guidance for pharmacies providing Immunizations during a pandemic in 2019. This crisis has changed some requirements and added a bit to the current recommendations such as the obvious – social distancing, hand sanitizing, and washing of hands after coming-in-contact with items a patient has touched.
Reporting and tracking of such Immunizations is the final and really most important part of the process to ensure and protect us all moving forward. How will you prove and report the ‘immunization event’ took place so that the patient is protected moving forward? How will you record and report in order to be reimbursed? Once again, every state is different. Here in NY, we have New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) for reporting, you can find it here. RxInsight from Point of Care Systems (our pharmacy management system) works seamlessly with the full suite of Prescribe Wellness products, including ‘Vaccine Complete’. This product offers automatic reporting, end-to-end data tracking, and transfer’s so all your Patient Immunization Data is in one place. You’ll also receive the Vaccine Complete Guidebook, an end-to-end guide on how to implement a new vaccination program, including checklists to help you maintain compliance, screen and educate patients, and follow protocols for vaccine administration, storage, and disposal. Get instructions and forms to register as a Mass Immunizer Provider to collect reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and third-party networks.
Be sure to also review the additional resources we’ve put together for these rapidly changing times and work landscape during this Coronavirus crisis: